Having completed our Group A analysis over the last four days, the Euro 2012 coverage shifts focus this afternoon. Next up, it’s Group B under the microscope, as we get the ball rolling with a look at Denmark…
Morten Olsen’s men get their campaign underway on Saturday June 9 at 5pm, in the group’s opening game against the Netherlands. The Danes have a four-day wait under their second fixture – once again, they kick off early, with a 5pm showdown against Portugal, before their final match at 7.45pm on Sunday June 17 against Germany.
There’s little doubt that Denmark are the rank outsiders to progress from Group B. Germany won all 10 of their qualifying games, racking up 34 goals in the process, Holland were victorious in nine of their 10 matches and notched 37 times, while Portugal – after finishing second to the Danes in qualifying – hammered Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-2 on aggregate in the play-offs.
The Road to Qualification
Placed in a five-team group in qualifying, Denmark won six and lost just one of their eight matches. After a tricky start – where they were victorious in just one of their opening four – Olsen’s side won the last four and showed their resolve with a 2-1 triumph in the winner-takes-all final match against the Portuguese, ensuring automatic qualification. Olsen’s side conceded six goals, with four clean sheets chalked up along the way, and found the net 15 times – scoring two or more goals on five of those eight occasions.
Most Appearances: Jacobsen, Rommedahl, Eriksen (8), Krohn-Deli, C Poulsen, Kjaer (7)
Top Scorers: Bendtner, Rommedahl (3), Krohn-Deli (2)
Top Assists: Rommedahl (5)
The Likely Lads
Priced at 6.5, Christian Eriksen’s role as the most advanced central midfielder in a 4-3-3 allows his playmaking abilities to flourish. The Ajax man pretty much monopolises set-pieces, as the number one for both corners and free-kicks, and is already the most popular Danish attacking asset, with 10.5% ownership. He arrives on the back of a strong domestic campaign for the Dutch champions, with seven goals and 18 assists steering his side to the Eredevisie title – if Denmark are to beat the odds and progress beyond the group stages, Eriksen’s contribution will be crucial.
Joint-top scorer in qualifying with three goals and the provider of most assists, Dennis Rommedahl makes a strong case for inclusion. The Brondby man currently has a thigh injury but has been included in the provisional squad, with Olsen quoted as being certain the winger “will be ready”. Priced at a mere 5.5 and classified as a forward, Rommedahl – who plays on the right of the front three – is an alternative for those Fantasy managers reluctant to invest much budget in the Danes, given their relatively weak fixtures.
The much-maligned Nicklas Bendtner may struggle to justify his extreme self-confidence on the domestic stage but has a knack of producing at international level. Priced at 7.0 he’s unlikely to attract too much interest – at present, Bendtner has just 1.3% ownership in the McDonalds game – but, with three goals in the Danes’ last four, including a crucial strike in the final group match against Portugal, Olsen’s preferred lone frontman arrives in strong form for the Group B underdogs.
Realistically, it’s hard to justify any sort of investment in the Danish defence. Up against the likes of Robin Van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Gomez in consecutive matches, few, if any, have faith in clean sheets. Daniel Agger has already attracted the most interest of any Danish outfield player, with an ownership of 14.2% but a price tag of 5.5 looks steep, despite his occasional free-kicks. For anyone considering an admittedly risky punt on the backline, 4.5 priced Thomas Sorensen offers a cut-price option. With plenty of save points likely to be accrued, in addition to his reputation for keeping out spot-kicks, the Stoke man should be kept busy from start to finish – the back-four will likely need to return attacking points to outscore him. For those who reckon Anders Lindegaard could oust Sorensen as first-choice keeper, the upcoming couple of friendlies against Brazil and Australia should hopefully reveal all – priced at 4.0, Lindegaard certainly offers even better value and has been snapped up by an incredible 30% of Fantasy managers already.
Likely to play wide left in the front three but classified as a midfielder, Michael Krohn-Deli is an out-of-position prospect afforded to Fantasy managers. Priced at 6.0, he has been picked up by a mere 0.3%; Eriksen is clearly the midfielder of choice here but Krohn-Deli’s slightly cheaper price, backed up by a record of three goals in his last five, suggests he could appeal to those seeking a real differential amongst Olsen’s squad.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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